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Should You Serve Bread With or Without the Crust?

On this episode of Fatherly’s “Op-ed,” our editor-at-large, Joshua David Stein, talks about why you must serve bread with the crust on, whether it’s just toast or a sandwich.

Stein’s two sons are loath to consider a sandwich or slice of toast if the aforementioned bread is ringed by crust, but to him that means they demand nothing but the good stuff. “But life is not like that,” says Stein.

Roughly 133 billion pounds of food are wasted each year. And Stein believes the problem won’t get better if we don’t cultivate the idea that food is to be eaten in its entirety. “What we can do is to explain the deal to kids, and they can make their choices,” says Stein. “The key is to not be a facilitator or a pusher.”

Obviously, Stein is not advocating for forcing a child to eat crust, but he wants to ask parents to not edit out of a child’s culinary experience that crusts exist. In crust, there are valuable lessons about life to be had. This is the smaller argument, but also the more compelling one.

Stein also believes that by cutting the crust from the sandwiches and toast presented to children, a parent is robbing them of that lesson and teaching them that it’s okay to live within a food system but never grapple with its particulars. For both moral and very practical reasons, it is not.

“A slice of bread is a tidy metaphor for reality. Trust your kids to take a bite,” Stein concludes.